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Volunteering a Community Experience for Eagle's Trace Resident

March 22, 2012

Active at St. Basil, Bessie Rigas shares Greek traditions, fellowship

HOUSTON, TX---April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month, and for Bessie Rigas, a resident of Eagle's Trace, giving back is all about community.
"I enjoy people and helping others," described Ms. Rigas, a native of Greece who has lived at the Erickson Living retirement community in West Houston for nearly six years.
Ms. Rigas and her family moved to Houston from New Jersey in 1979.  In both states, they owned and operated successful restaurants.
But it's her involvement with St. Basil the Great Greek Orthodox Church on Eldridge Parkway in West Houston for which she is known.  In fact, its proximity to Eagle's Trace was a factor in her move.
Through her work and volunteerism at St. Basil, Ms. Rigas has started church programs, supported philanthropic campaigns and served as an unofficial ambassador.
She enjoys two wonderful traditions at St. Basil: the weekly Fellowship Luncheon, during which a delicious spaghetti meal is served, and the annual GreekFest, an exciting, family-friendly ethnic festival in May.
The events blend two of her favorite pastimes: Greek cooking and dancing.
"I make cakes and other Greek sweets during holidays," stated Ms. Rigas.  "I also bring an instructor to Eagle's Trace, and we teach my fellow residents some Greek dances.  It is so much fun to carry forth these traditions."
The maintenance-free lifestyle at Eagle's Trace provides her the opportunity to spend valuable time with her two children and four grandchildren as well as stay active at St. Basil.
Ms. Rigas volunteers for a simple reason: "God blessed me with everything I need, and I should give back to others."
About Eagle's Trace: Eagle's Trace, managed and developed by Erickson Living, is a retirement community that provides worry-free living for America's seniors-the country's fastest growing population segment.  Erickson Living's financial value and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind.  Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into our continuum of care, lead to demonstrated resident benefits.  A robust complement of resident programs and facilities promote an engaged, fulfilling lifestyle that is reflected in resident satisfaction levels that exceed the industry average.  For more information, please visit